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The Idea Of Imitate Tendency In The Scarlet Letter And Me Talk Pretty One Day

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Humans tend to change themselves in order to be like someone else, or fit in. Social media is a huge impact on this. For example, commercials about fit people being happy and enjoying life; while other people are envying them sitting on a couch thinking “why can’t I be like that.” Humanity is always trying to perfect the reality and fighting about who has the “perfect life”. Ever seen those shows where people get surgery to change the way they look to appear like someone else? Or beauty commercials where the models look perfect. Society is influenced to be this and if it isn’t that then people mimic others to adjust to the civilization.

In addition, people have a tendency to imitate because they aren’t conformed with what they have or who they are. Oscar Wilde said, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” In other words, humans imitate way too often in life from the thoughts they think to the opinions they claim are their own. Many are afraid to say anything out of the ordinary, even if they might be totally right and have valid points to make.

In regard to fitting in, humans don’t step out of the comfort zone because it isn’t “normal.” People who are “different” feel oppressed by society and often labeled as outcast because they are “different.” And humanity its self finds ways to perfect the “different” so that everyone is normal, equal. Although, people prefer to be “normal” so that everyone can maintain that level of creativity or knowledge. However, each person is born with particular gifts and innate skills, a tendency to be better at some things rather than others. This allows the world to develop, to have depth, to create beauty and productivity. If everyone were truly equal, then it would be a boring.

Therefore, by trying to throw everyone in the same boat society is covering what makes each person unique. Humanity is limiting some and forcing other's down unproductive paths. For example, David Sedaris, the author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, wrote a book about his first experiences in France with his classmates and his dreadful teacher. David was in 5th grade when his teacher recommended him for speech therapy because of his lisp. His class made him feel like an outcast and he didn’t fit in with the rest of them. Thus, the tendency that humans have to mimic others leads to discrimination between “normal” and “different.”

In addition, the “normal” people fear the ones who “set a bad example”, the “different” people, so they end up persecuting or attacking them due to their uniqueness. In the book “The Scarlet Letter”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester is publicly shamed and forced by the people of Boston to wear a badge of humiliation. When Chillingworth tells her that the town fathers are considering letting her remove the letter Hester is shocked. Hester’s behavior is premised on her desire to determine her own identity rather than to allow others to determine it for her. Instead, Hester stays, refiguring the scarlet letter as a symbol of her own experiences and character. Her past sin is a part of who she is; to pretend that it never happened would mean denying a part of herself. Individuality is formed from committing mistakes and learning from them, from different kinds of experiences.

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On a related note, people are always telling other people what to do. And people are used to relying on someone else telling them what they should or should not be doing, it’s the new norm.

For instance, in the book “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, David’s father signed him up for guitar lessons. Reluctantly, David tried to play the guitar, but he wasn’t good at it, so he quit. Nevertheless, society oppresses people to be the best at everything. At a young age, parents are placing kids at sports and stressing them to know more than they are supposed to know. But every individual is different. Some might play the guitar very well and, like David, others might not be the best at it. However, social media is always displaying an “ideal way to be” and society follows this “way” to fit in. But, by doing this, it destroys the creativity and boldness that each individual has. Nowadays, it’s a tremendous act of bravery to be original instead of an imitation of someone else.

For example, people started to come out saying that they were gay. Some viewed this as bravery and supported them along the way, but others discriminated and attacked them like if they were a different species. That behavior is what society influences on people. Which leads people to believe that normal is fine. David, in “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, and his father were opposites. He had interest in his mother’s hobbies not his father’s. In addition, society believes that there is only “one way” to be or act or dress but there are many paths someone can take. Guys were told that they were only allowed to do “manly” things and women weren’t allowed to do what men did because they weren’t “strong enough”. Till this day, many people discriminate others for being Hispanic. Thus, society doesn’t want to change the way things are because they’ve been so used to “one way”, people’s way of living is a mimicry.

Furthermore, being open and honest will lead to the liberation from “social masks”. Meaning that humanity is likely to disregard their principles to stay out of trouble, to hide their insecurities and to fit in with others. Not being bold makes people average. It destroys that spark that they have that distinguishes them from the rest of the society. Like Hester, from The Scarlet Letter, believed if she removed that letter, she would be admitting that the letter is a mark of shame and something from which she desires to escape. Instead, she wore that letter proud because that mistake was part of her. Demonstrating courage, uniqueness, and that mistakes makes humans who they are.

In conclusion, Oscar Wilde was right in that humanity has a tendency to mimic others. Most people don't ever have an original thought of their own. They listen and follow what someone else has thought, said, commented because it's far safer than having the imagination to come up with something unique because society hates “strange” and often will make your life difficult for your non-conforming ideas.

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The Idea Of Imitate Tendency In The Scarlet Letter And Me Talk Pretty One Day. (2021, August 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from
“The Idea Of Imitate Tendency In The Scarlet Letter And Me Talk Pretty One Day.” Edubirdie, 17 Aug. 2021,
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The Idea Of Imitate Tendency In The Scarlet Letter And Me Talk Pretty One Day [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 17 [cited 2024 Feb 23]. Available from:
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